Properties vanishing from mainstream rental market as more landlords switch to Airbnb

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An increasing number of rental properties in London are being used for short-term holiday lets using websites such as Airbnb and are no longer available for long-term renting.

The claim comes from the Residential Landlords Association which says there has been a 75% increase in the number of multi-listings on Airbnb between February 2016 and March 2017.

Multi-listings are classed as individuals advertising more than one property on Airbnb.

Further evidence of the change in letting comes from the analysis showing that the number of whole properties and rooms advertised on Airbnb in London available for more than 90 nights a year increased by 23% between February 2016 and March 2017.

This is despite Airbnb launching a crackdown to better enforce the 90-day rule at the start of the year.

A UK-wide survey by the RLA of almost 1,500 landlords has found that 7% reported that they have now started to offer properties as holiday/short-term lets through Airbnb or a similar platform.

These are properties that they would have previously been let longer term in the private rented sector.

The RLA says this could mean some 134,400 private rented homes have moved from the traditional private rental market to holiday or short-let accommodation.

Of those landlords who have moved over to short-term letting, 36% report this is because of the changes to mortgage interest relief which mean landlords being taxed on their income instead of their profit, and tax relief only being available at the basic rate.

One landlord who has made the move to holiday lets commented: “I didn’t want to do this, but the tax changes have forced me down this route.

“Selling is not an option due to CGT, and this iniquitous tax which is effectively retrospective is unjust in that my buy-to-lets are a business, just like any other. There will be fewer properties available to rent as a result.”

The RLA is calling on the Government to end what it calls the “perverse incentive” landlords have to move to holiday lets by scrapping the mortgage interest relief changes.

RLA policy director David Smith said: “With London and the country as a whole in desperate need of new homes to rent in the long term, it is crazy that recent tax changes encourage landlords to move to the short-term holiday let market.

“By skewing the market, Government policy will serve only to hit the hardest those young people and families who most need a growing private rented sector to meet their needs.”

Change in number of Airbnb multi-listings between February 2016 and March 2017
February 2016June 2016March 2017% change (February 16 – March 17)
Entire home/apartment listings6,9349,30511,595+67%
Private room listings5,5767,97810,342+85%
Shared room listings234310411+75%


Change in number of Airbnb listings with an availability over 90 nights between February 2016 and March 2017
February 2016June 2016March 2017% change (February 16 – March 17)
Entire home/apartment listings11,29613,32012,213+8%
Private room listings10,36013,00414,467+40%
Shared room listings356403463+30%

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Written by: Houseladder